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Weekly Release #19: With Fresh Blood, Bears Head to Canada

Weekly Release #19: With Fresh Blood, Bears Head to Canada


The Hershey Bears will head to Canada this week, bringing their 19-25-3-4 record north of the border for three contests. The Bears finished a three in three last week, only winning once thanks to a ferocious comeback on Sunday versus Rochester. The Chocolate and White sit 12 points out of a playoff spot with 25 games to play, but the club made a big move to spark the offense last week, obtaining three-time AHL All-Star Joe Whitney from the New York Rangers organization. 

Last Friday, Hershey started the weekend with a 5-1 loss at the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The loss dropped the Bears to 0-5-0-0 at the PPL Center in Allentown this season and the club has lost four straight games overall in the season series. Nic Aube-Kubel opened the scoring for the Phantoms with just 5.5 seconds left in the opening period, and the Phantoms used that momentum to explode for four goals in the second period. Dustin Gazley had Hershey’s lone goal in the road loss.

On Saturday, Hershey trailed 4-0 to Hartford on home ice less than nine minutes into the game. Hartford scored on four consecutive shots in the first period, and chased Pheonix Copley from the game after three tallies on five shots. Dustin Gazley and Liam O’Brien scored for the Chocolate and White. 

Sunday saw Hershey win an overtime thriller as the Bears topped the Rochester Americans, 3-2, at Giant Center. Riley Barber scored in the first period for Hershey, but a late Eric Cornel goal for Rochester forced the Bears to rally from a 2-1 deficit. Wayne Simpson tied the game for the Bears with 2.8 seconds left in regulation, and new addition Joe Whitney scored his first goal with the Bears, capping off a three-point night with the overtime winning goal. 

-Friday, Feb. 16 at Laval, 7:30 p.m 
-Saturday, Feb. 17 at Belleville, 7 p.m.
-Monday, Feb. 19 at Toronto, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 14: NO PRACTICE, TRAVEL DAY
Thursday, Feb. 15: 10:00 AM, Practice, Place Bell
Friday, Feb. 16: 11:15 AM, Morning Skate, Place Bell
Saturday, Feb. 17: 11:15 AM, Optional Morning Skate, Yardmen Arena
Sunday, Feb. 18: 3:30 PM, Practice, Air Canada Centre


On Friday, the Washington Capitals organization obtained forwards Joe Whitney and Adam Chapie in a trade, while the New York Rangers organization nabbed forward John Albert and defender Hubert Labrie. Whitney and Chapie made their Hershey debuts on Saturday versus their former club as Albert and Labrie visited the Giant Center as members of the Wolf Pack.

WHITNEY’S BIG WELCOME: On Sunday, Hershey forward Joe Whitney made a grand impression on his new fan base. In just his second game with the Bears, Whitney registered three points, tallying a pair of assists and adding the overtime winning goal in Hershey’s 3-2 victory over Rochester. The overtime goal was the 300th point in Whitney’s AHL career and the contest was his first three-point performance since Dec. 12, 2016. The Reading, Mass. native has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) on the season. 

NORTH OF THE BORDER: Hershey heads to Canada this week for three games on the road. Friday’s game will mark the club’s first ever game versus the Laval Rocket, the new affiliate of Montreal. Saturday also marks Hershey's first visit to Belleville. The two teams did play in Hershey's home opener at Giant Center on Oct. 14 with the Senators earning the win. On Monday, the Bears battle Toronto in the afternoon at the Air Canada Centre, the home of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.  

BOURQUE AT OLYMPICS UPDATE: Forward Chris Bourque and Team USA open play at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea on Wednesday. The Americans battle Slovenia in a preliminary game at 7:15 a.m. The game may be seen on NBC Sports Network. USA also plays Thursday vs. Slovakia at 10:15 p.m. and Saturday vs. the Olympic Athletes from Russia at 7:15 a.m.

BEARS BITES: Hershey scored the first goal in Sunday’s win, notching the opening marker for the 21st time this year. The Bears are 12-4-1-4 when they score first…The Bears recalled defender Tommy Hughes from South Carolina (ECHL) on Tuesday…Riley Barber has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past five games…Barber is fourth in the AHL with 147 shots this season…Former Bears Jim O’Brien and Erik Burgdoerfer are members of Belleville…Former Hershey and current Capitals broadcaster John Walton is calling Women’s Olympic Hockey for NBC. Hershey’s Zack Fisch will fill in for Walton in D.C., making his NHL debut for the Capitals on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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